Riverside County, Other Jurisdictions Settle Lawsuit Against Tesla

Connor Forbes
Connor Forbes
3 Min Read

Lawsuit Against Tesla

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – A lawsuit filed by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office and two dozen other prosecuting agencies statewide against Tesla Inc. over environmental violations was settled under a $1.5 million agreement that requires changes in the company’s operations to safeguard public health, it was announced Thursday.

The settlement was certified last month by San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Jayne Lee. In addition to the payout to the counties for failing to comply with state hazardous disposal laws, the terms require that Tesla institute measures which ensure refuse processing methods meet environmental standards going forward.

That will entail a new training program for employees and the retention of a third-party auditor to conduct annual inspections of trash containers at 10% of its facilities over the next five years, prosecutors said.

Riverside County is slated to receive $100,000 of the settlement payout.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, Tesla came under scrutiny in 2018 when the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office conducted an undercover probe, checking trash receptacles at the electric car company’s service centers, during which it was confirmed there had been “illegal disposal of hazardous used lubricating oils, brake cleaners, used lead acid batteries and other batteries, used aerosols, used antifreeze, waste solvents and other cleaners, electronic waste, waste paint and contaminated debris.”

“District attorney investigators from Alameda, Monterey, Orange, Placer, Riverside, San Diego and San Joaquin counties then conducted additional inspections at Tesla’s car service centers throughout California, and found similar unlawful disposals,” the agency said.

At the manufacturer’s Fremont factory in Alameda County, inspectors discovered “weld spatter waste, which at times contains copper … waste paint mix cups produced during paint repair operations and used wipes contaminated with primer coat generated by wiping the surfaces of coated vehicles,” according to the District Attorney’s Office.

There are 57 Tesla servicing centers statewide and 18 solar energy facilities, five of which are in Riverside County, prosecutors said.

The suit acknowledged that when Tesla was notified of the deficiencies in its disposal operations, it took immediate steps to implement remedies.

For More Environmental News Visit www.zapinin.com/environment.

Lawsuit Against Tesla
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